[ Announcement: I now have my own site for writing: http://onlyfragments.com/
I will still be updating and checking my LJ regularly, but when linking or directing people to my writing, it will be to my Wordpress blog instead. ]
Silk had to hand it to the woman; her coat may be ridiculous, but at least it was currently doing a pretty good job of soaking up her blood. That would save him some cleanup time, at least. He stepped over the motionless figure sprawled across the front step and glanced about. It had turned out to be a pretty nice day, all things considered, sunlight shining peacefully through the red-gold trees which lined the mansion's long drive and warming his face with a rare autumn heat. Still, the man frowned. He hated to tear up the manicured lawn or painstakingly tended rose beds but they were running out of places to bury the bodies. The front lawn was too conspicuous, the earth out back by the gardener's shed already full. He could perhaps try down by the koi pond but that was such a long walk...
“Good morning, sir! Beautiful day, isn't it?” Wrapped up in his current dilemma, Silk hadn't even noticed the gentleman wandering up the drive. He narrowed his eyes as he watched the stranger approach, one hand resting lightly on the gun hidden inside his jacket. The man wore a cheap blue suit and carried a large briefcase under one arm. He was in his early fifties, easy, thinning hair more gray than brown. Not exactly a threat, but Silk took no chances. He was paid very well and with good reason.
Finally the man made it to the house. He stopped on the walk and flashed a wide, folksy smile, apparently oblivious to the dead woman laying on the flagstone. When Silk said nothing in greeting he went ahead and continued, “Yes, a fine day indeed! And a gorgeous, I say an absolutely gorgeous
house you have here! You're obviously a man with fine tastes. I have in this case a fabulous opportunity I know one such as yourself is too smart to pass up. For just a limited time only, you see, my employers at Hartford Fine Crystal are offering unbelievable discounts on all crystal dining sets, including--”
“I killed a woman,” It seemed to take the salesman a moment to even notice Silk had spoken. That happened often, though. His voice was very soft and he rarely bothered with inflection. He watched the words dawn in the man's mind, understanding slowly making its way to his face as he glanced down to the body sprawled at Silk's feet. “...oh,” the man managed. Then, “are you going to kill me too?” Silk tipped his head back, basking in the warm sunshine for a moment before he fixed his attention back on the problem at hand. “No,” he decided, a surprise to them both. “I'll give you one minute to walk down that driveway and never look back.” The man gaped at him. “You're not?” Silk gave a bare shrug. “I'm feeling magnanimous today.” The salesman stared at the dead woman for a second, then shifted the case from one hand to the other and managed a pretty good imitation of his earlier smile. “Well, sir, I'll give you my card and if you ever want a discount on fine crystal products just--”
Now the gun was out, balanced with deceptive ease in Silk's capable hand. “You've now wasted thirty seconds trying to sell me your cheap shit.” Silk believed it uncouth to curse but the salesman's babbling grated on him. The man paled and shut up immediately at the sight of the weapon pointed at his rotund stomach. He might have turned tale and ran just then if they hadn't been interrupted by the easy-going chatter of a group of well dressed young men making their way around the corner of the house. Silk swore again, this time with rare passion. His employer would be quite unhappy if these particular guests discovered the murdered woman. As irritating as his employer had found her, his friends had taken some delight in her nosy ways and would already be sorry to hear she had gone missing. If he hadn't let himself become distracted by this damned salesman...
“Look here,” Silk yanked the man close by his collar, vanishing the gun back to its hiding place. “You play along now or I swear your end won't be nearly as quick as hers.” Then as the group rounded the bend he shoved the salesman back, one hand still gripping his collar and the other a vice around his arm. “Get the fuck out of here, you sorry sack of crap,” he snarled, loud enough to grab the others' full attention. “If I catch you trying to sell that shit on these premises again, I'll beat you black and blue.” Not terribly clever but the threat seemed to do the trick. This time the salesman caught on immediately and made a great show of stumbling along before Silk, struggling against the hit man's iron grip while he babbled terrified apologies. “Shut the fuck up and just keep walking!” Silk growled, sparing a quick glance to their audience. His employer's colleagues had paused momentarily to watch the altercation but now that the show seemed more or less over, they were moving on across the path toward the twelve car garage. None seemed to have noticed the body; their eyes lingered on Silk and the profusely apologizing salesman the entire way. Once they disappeared around the corner of the mansion Silk gave the salesman one last disgusted shove and speared him with a glare that sent the man scurrying toward the road.
Finally alone again, Silk turned back to his original dilemma. He nudged the dead woman with one foot as he contemplated his options, grimacing at the thought of having to drag her to a suitable burial spot. Ah, well. Koi pond it was.